Ask the expert: What should I ask?

Nurse Leader Insider, February 28, 2011

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This week, Tammy L. Berbarie, BA, RN, RN-BC, discusses behavioral-based interview questions to ask potential charge nurses.

Q: What are some interview questions I should ask candidates who are applying for a charge nurse position to see whether they are a good fit?

A: Behavioral-based questions are the key to hiring right the first time. Anyone can look at a resume and obtain a background check to assess whether a candidate has the basic knowledge, skills, and education for the position. But when you use behavioral-based interview questions, you are truly tapping into the candidate’s application of knowledge, skill, critical thinking capabilities, conflict resolution, and/or management abilities and leadership skills. This will help you assess whether the candidate meets the department expectations and fits into the organizational culture.

The following are some examples of behavioral-based questions that you could ask a candidate for a charge nurse position:

  • Describe a situation in which you had to handle a difficult and demanding patient.
  • Give me an example of when you were involved in a conflict with another colleague and describe how you handled the situation.
  • Tell me about a challenging problem that you faced in your previous job. How did you handle it?

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